SAN ANTONIO – A local gun shop owner said he has no plans to change his firearm sales policies in light of retail giants raising the minimum age of purchasing a firearm from 18 to 21 years of age at their stores.
The decision by Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods was made following public pressure to tighten gun regulations in the wake of the February shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead.
"People who strongly support the Second Amendment might be a little upset about that," said Brock Wilkerson of A Place to Shoot, a San Antonio firing range and gun store that has more than 700 firearms in stock. "We don't plan on making any decisions or any changes to our standard operating procedures when it comes to selling firearms."
Wilkerson said his stores closely adhere to federal laws and won't change policies unless federal law dictates.
"We are constantly in contact with ATF, we follow the system in any way that we can on a normal basis. We are aggressive about that," Wilkerson said.
In an effort to prove a point, Wilkerson pulled an AR-15 semiautomatic and a semiautomatic hunting rifle from a shelf.
"I brought these guys out because of the slippery slope you run into outlawing one versus the other," Wilkerson said. "Right now, this is the gun of topic today, a standard AR-15. It looks very assault-like.
"This (hunting rifle) is also a semi-automatic. It doesn't look like this firearm. With the right magazine, this firearm can do basically everything this gun does. Once you go here, what's the progression of the assault ban?"
Recently, groups around the nation have called for a ban on the AR-15, stricter background checks and in some cases, to take weapons away from someone identified as a possible threat, even if it violates due process rights.
"The laws that they're talking about, we don't personally believe will do any good to keep people -- to keep guns out of criminals' hands," Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson said he believes gun stores could see more customers, as pro-Second Amendment shoppers would be deterred from shopping at Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods because of their new policies.